St Patrick’s Day is one of those dates on the calendar that has taken on a meaning of its own, far removed from its roots. For lots of people, it is a time of great meaning. But for the rest of us, it is a chance to celebrate everything Irish and find as many ways to make green food and drink as possible! So, if you want some fun Irish themed cocktails to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, here are some suggestions.
Irish whiskey offers a smooth finish with earthy tones compared to many classic Scotch whiskeys and this is why it brings a unique taste to any cocktails it is used in. To qualify as Irish whiskey, the drink must be distilled in the Republic or Northern Ireland and use yeast for fermentation as well as having an alcoholic strength of less than 94.8% but more than 40%. There are 16 Irish whiskey distilleries in operation currently and the demand for the products mean another 13 are currently in different stages of planning.
This twist on the classic cocktail uses 1.5 ounces of Irish whiskey along with ½ ounce sweet vermouth and ½ ounce of Cointreau or another dry curacao. Added to that is ½ ounce freshly squeeze lime juice, two dashes of Angostura bitters and a bit of lime to garnish. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add the ingredient and shake then strain into a cocktail glass.
I think the name of this one drew me as much as the ingredients! You need to make a little honey syrup before creating the cocktail but that simply involved ½ ounce hot water and the same amount of honey stirred together until the honey melts. Then take 2 ounces of Irish whiskey, ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice, ½ ounce sweet vermouth and ½ ounce of the honey syrup. Add them to a shaker with ice and strain into a Collins glass then top with soda water or lemonade and decorate with a lemon twist.
Pot of Gold
This cocktail would make a nice party piece if you can part with your champagne. You need 2 tbsp. pear juice and the same amount of Irish whiskey added to a martini glass. Top up with champagne or sparkling white wine and then add a twist of lemon to finish.
Of course, it would be rude to discuss Irish themed cocktails and not refer to some of the drinks you can make with that other most Irish of drink – Guinness. Many of the drinks made with Guinness tend to be simple yet have a bit of a kick to them!
To serve two, take 50ml dark rum in a jug with ice and ad 25ml cold espresso coffee, 25ml vodka and 25ml crème de cacao. Then added 100ml Guinness and stir until cold before adding to two martini glasses.
Guinness Black Russian
Another twist on a classic, this one uses 25ml coffee liqueur with 25ml vodka and 100ml cola in a tall glass with ice. Gently stir in 100ml Guinness and serve with a lime wedge.
I must admit to loving funky coloured cocktails such as shades of blue and green so the urge to go green in the cocktail department is always strong. And everything about St Patrick’s Day ends up doused in green so it is a great excuse.
This simple martini variation comes out a vivid green shade due to the use of a very delicious green spirit – Midori. If you haven’t tried this melon liqueur before, I would definitely recommend it. For this recipe, you need 3 ounces’ vodka, ½ ounce of Midori and the same of Triple Sec. mix in a shaker with ice then strain into the classic martini glass and add a slice of orange.
The Grasshopper has been around for a long time and well out of favour somewhat, maybe due to its minty flavour. But it has the colour and the sweet touch that makes it a very tasty drink. All you need is ¾ ounce green crème de menthe, ¾ ounce white crème de cacao (chocolate) and ¾ ounce single cream. Mix them together in a shaker with ice and pour into a martini glass, finishing with a mint leaf.
This one has a more serious hit of alcohol in it but also a bit of fruit juice to round out the flavour. You need one ounce of tequila, one ounce green crème de menthe and ½ ounce Midori along with two ounces of grapefruit juice and the same of pineapple juice. Stick with normal grapefruit to get the right colour. Mix them all in a shaker with ice then serve in a highball glass.
Simple champagne cocktails
Champagne makes for the ultimate party cocktail and there are lots of recipes that are eye catching but don’t take a lot of complicated ingredients. Plus, you can easily substitute it for another sparkling white wine if you prefer.
Take a champagne flute and fill it almost to the top then add one measure of Midori. This gives the champagne a subtle, lime green shade that looks very sophisticated and can be finished with a slender wedge of melon to match the flavour.
One of the classic St Patrick’s Day cocktails has to be Paddy’s Night. For this drink, take ice, 1 measure of green crème de menthe and 1 measure of Irish whiskey and add them to a shaker. Strain into a champagne flute then top up with champagne for the ultimate Irish themed cocktail with a brilliant green colour!